This is a twenty day unit on MacBeth used with large classes of 28 to 32 students who were 12th graders. I've used components of this unit with 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders as well. The unit moves from reading and understanding chain of events, characters, and theme into a several reading check quizzes, understanding an Aristotelian Hero and Aristotle's elements of a tragedy. The unit culminates in an essay and a test.
Here's a list of what's included:
Table of Contents:
Teacher Notes and How to Use this unit
Lesson Plans (Marzano Aligned)
Assessments and Tasks (both formative and summative)
Vocabulary with definitions
Aristotle’s Elements of Tragedy & Characteristics of Tragic Hero
10 Characteristics of a Hero: MacBeth
How to write a Theme Statement
Theme Tracking Schematic for Textual Evidence and Rationale
Essay prompt & instructions
How to Cite Shakespeare in MLA 8 format
Quiz 1 (Act 1)
Quiz 2 (Act 2)
Quiz 3 (Act 3)
Quiz 4 (Act 4)
Quiz 5 (Act 5)
Discussion Questions Act IV
MacBeth Tragic Heroes, Tragedies, and Romantic Heroes Powerpoint printout
Learning Goal Scales Marzano Style (for 2 goals)
Teacher notes to get you started
Students will be able to paraphrase Shakespearean dialog and analyze the diction that Shakespeare used to convey his ideas.
Students will be able to evaluate a character’s psychology as perceived in multiple audio and visual recordings and productions in order to understand, predict, debate, and present his/her dynamic characterization, motivations, and actions.
Students will: read, analyze, discuss, interpret, paraphrase, summarize, Build a personal connection to the CHARACTERS, LANGUAGE, and PLOT of this drama, understand Shakespeare’s WRITING STYLE, appreciate timeless THEMES that make this play as relevant today as it was over four hundred years ago, write both LONGER and SHORTER CRITICAL and ANALYTICAL responses to assigned prompts
analyze the STRUCTURE of the tragedy and the DRAMATIC ELEMENTS that Shakespeare used to craft the PLOT-LINE, read and analyze informational texts that speak to the play and show modern real-life connections to MacBeth
-How ambition, the psychological effects of war, fear, peer influence, fame/praise, and prophecy (self-fulfilling or not) can lead to the destruction of a person or a kingdom.
-The effects of fear of self and self fulfilling prophecies
ex: Elsa from Frozen: Elsa was given a prophecy by the troll “GrandPapi” that her magic held great power, but that with great power also came great danger… that “fear will be your enemy.” This is an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. While the witches in “MacBeth” tell MacBeth a prophecy to mess with him, the troll in “Frozen” is trying to help (we assume). For Elsa, fear becomes her enemy not in the way she originally thinks. She thinks that people will be scared of her powers and that they will turn against her and hurt her. Instead, Elsa becomes so scared that people will find out about her powers that she becomes terrified of everyone and isolates herself. Only when she controls her emotions and expresses herself through her ice powers is she totally in control and everything is right with the world. However, because she was so afraid of people knowing about her powers, they exploded all over Arendelle, totally out of control, and people did become scared of Elsa. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy because once the idea has been placed in a mind, no matter if it is misinterpreted or incorrect, the idea remains and takes root in the mind. *** This happens with MacBeth when he hears the three witches’ prophecy about him being king. He believes them because the first piece of the prophecy they tell him is plausible (because he just killed the previous Thane of Cawdor in the battle that he and Banquo just won and would, therefore, be the next Thane of Cawdor, once the King appoints him that title officially). So, if that is true, everything they say must be true (nope!!). They say that MacBeth will be king and Banquo will not, but that his son will start a line of Kings. *** All this begs the question: Was MacBeth always going to be king, or did he become king because he heard the prophecy and it put the idea in his head?
-What contributes to a person losing the respect and support of others who once had great faith in his or her potential to be a great leader?
-Who is someone you respect and support? What makes you respect them?
-What is the difference between admiration, respect, and fear?
ex: The red queen from Alice and Wonderland, Joseph Stalin, Hitler, Hans from Frozen
Can one ever be too ambitious? (ex: The Kardashians, Donald Trump, YouTuber culture)
-When is ambition good?
-When is ambition harmful?
-How can studying a classical work of literature prepare students for the challenges of real-life experience in the 21st century?
Soft skills such as:
-empathy & sympathy
-morals & ethics
-actively engaging in a difficult task
-Is there a difference between reading Shakespeare silently versus speaking his works aloud and what are the benefits of becoming an active reader of Shakespeare?